Swing Plane – Upright or Flat?

By at November 20, 2012 | 11:23 pm |FavoriteLoadingAdd To Favorites (listed below) Print


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  1. jimmarlow, 1 year ago


    My typical shot with your method is a fairly straight shot with a cut. My divots with irons appear to be a little too much outside/in and the ball is struck with the toe if the club. I have been trying to stand up taller and closer to the ball and that has helped me hit the ball more in the center of the club, but that causes me to swing more upright which creates a cut.
    My question is; would you recommend that I try to tilt my body on the downswing as you indicated in this video or is it more likely a problems with my arms/wrists not being soft enough?

    • Paul Wilson

      Paul Wilson, 1 year ago

      Jim, if you are toeing it you are raising up through impact. This would be an indication of trying to hit it too hard. So keep the arms powerless and work on this position:

      Spine Angle Follow Through: http://ignitiongolf.com/follow-through-eyes-tilted

      Another reason would be hitting the ball off of your heels so make sure you check your weight distribution through impact.

      The over the top is due to hitting with arms which is not keeping you behind it. So tilting back would be advisable while keeping the wrists loose. Your body should be staying behind it when you use your legs but you may have to help it a little by staying back manually.

  2. richmosney, 1 year ago


    • Paul Wilson

      Paul Wilson, 1 year ago


      Take a look in a mirror which would allow you to see the down the line view of your swing. Hold your top of the backswing position. If your lead arm is above the shoulder line you are a 2 plane swinger. If your lead arm is level with your shoulders you are a one plane swinger.

      I prefer a more upright swing. This does not mean you have to be too upright but a little higher than the shoulders.

      Into the future keep working on coiling and uncoiling your body. This is the main power source. The arms should be powerless and wrists loose.

      Start with grip and setup videos. Then move on to these:

      Coiling: http://ignitiongolf.com/learn-coil-backswing

      Uncoil 1: http://ignitiongolf.com/uncoil

      Uncoil 2: http://ignitiongolf.com/uncoil-follow-up

      Legs Touching: http://ignitiongolf.com/touch-knees

  3. mikeplummer, 1 year ago

    Hi Paul,
    Would you say Iron Byron has an upright or flat plane? Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
    Thanks, Mike

    • Paul Wilson

      Paul Wilson, 1 year ago


      Iron Byron only does a downswing. As is does this downswing the club is at 90 degrees to the axis (driveshaft) so it is a on a single plane. In all good downswings the club is flattening towards 90 degrees to the axis in the downswing. This is how/why both single and 2 plane golfers can copy the machine. To get this you need to start the axis (body) first and let the arms (mass) go along for the ride. If this occurs mass will move at 90 degrees to the axis 100% of the time.

  4. JohnHardinger, 1 year ago

    Paul, you have shrunk! Somehow the new youtube format is only allowing me to see videos at about 50% of the size that I could get before you started using You Tube. Can you let me know how to enlarge the screen??

    • Paul Wilson

      Paul Wilson, 1 year ago

      John, Just click on the gray button in the bottom right of the video player. Then hit the ESC key on your keyboard to exit.

  5. richmosney, 1 year ago

    hey paul in re; to your advice,,i checked my backswing and actually,i am slightly below the shoulder line,although if i force myself 2 coil more,i can actually reach,but not overreach the shoulder line,so i guess,what you see is what i am going to get.thanks anyway!!!

    • Paul Wilson

      Paul Wilson, 1 year ago


      I think below the shoulder line is a little too flat. You need to lift the arms up a little. Just watch today’s tip. It explains how to do it.

  6. HughClark, 10 months ago

    Hi Paul-

    Thank you for the wonderful instruction and tips. Been watching your teachings for a while now. I’m working on a steeper back swing- trying to get more upright. I’m mastering the powerless arms as well, but am suffering from a flying right elbow. Any tips on how to fix this? I know hogan said he got most of his power from keeping the elbow’s close together at set up. I’m trying to find a good drill for this and it feels natural to me, which might take time to fix. Thanks!!

  7. DanyAl-Nasrallah, 8 months ago

    Hi Paul, Does the tallness affect the plane? I’m a 5foot6 and feels more comfortable on a flatter swing! When i try the more upright plane i feel like I’m off plane shoulder wise and less coil in the back-swing motion. I do hit nice shot with the upright swing like with the flatter but I’m zero constant and feel wrong most of the time!

    • Paul Wilson

      Paul Wilson, 8 months ago


      Standing taller may or may not affect your plane. I have seen plenty of tall golfers with too flat of a plane and the opposite as well. I do not like the club to be too flat. I like the lead arm to be slightly above the shoulder line at the top (2 plane swing). Why? There are many reasons for this:

      1. I have tried the flat backswing and lost distance as well as hit blocks and duck hooks.

      2. I have yet to see a world long driver with a flat backswing.

      3. The majority of the best golfers of all time had a more upright backswing.

      4. You don’t hit the ball going back. You hit it coming down. The plane will flatten coming down by turning your body first and keeping the arms powerless.

      5. The best swing of all time (Tiger Woods 2001-2003) was upright.

      If you are shorter you should be trying to get a more upright plane so you get more power. Now, don’t go crazy with it being too upright. It is slightly above the shoulder line. If you are reaching way up you may be too upright.

      I get the sense you are reaching up too high and you are doing so by picking your arms up. This is separating the arms from your body coil. The idea is to coil going back. This means you are still connected under the lead armpit to 3/4 back. From here you lift the arms up a little allowing the lead arm o ride up the pec muscle and right arm to untuck (drop a grapefruit from your right armpit). This is a strong, coiled up position. From here you are not pulling the club down in any way. You are turning your body and the arms follow. As they do, they flatten allowing the club to swing slightly from the inside.

      So check to see if you are lifting up too high. If so, focus on coiling and allow the right elbow to untuck a little. Don’t get crazy with a backswing that is too upright.

  8. FabienDuclocher, 2 months ago

    Hi Paul,
    I found out with this tip that may top of backswing was way to low. Indeed it was lower than your lower one in this tip. I was doing this to keep the connection on the left arm. More interestingly, now that my swing plane is more upright, my consistency is increased and it seems my fat shots (my biggest flaw) are desappearing. I should say that I have been working for several weeks now on your fat shot tips. Seems the swing plane was the culprit. Is it possible?

    • Paul Wilson

      Paul Wilson, 2 months ago


      Definitely. I remember doing that flat plane many years ago. I hit the ball nowhere and everywhere. Once I got the plane back up I hit the ball well again. Just try to get the lead arm slightly above the shoulder line. If you do you will be fine.

  9. DavidCalvert, 1 month ago

    Hi Paul
    You talk in this clip about rolling ones wrist’s do you roll yours or just let it happen on its own?
    Personally i am now letting it happen on its own having discovered that very loose wrist feeling.
    I also being 6/5 and very long arms have a flatter plane i find its much better for someone of my height as it stops me swaying off the ball during my back swing.
    Is there any other tips you have for a taller golfer id love to hear them?
    Love the clips.

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